Chicago Blackhawks: Playoff Superstitions and Traditions

By Gail Kauchak

Oh by gosh by golly!  It’s time for the playoffs!  Every game every night because it’s the Cup!  The Chicago Blackhawks are back in the playoffs again for the seventh straight year in a row.  Game 1 is set against the Nashville Predators this Wednesday night at 7:30 pm.  I thought it would be fun to share some of the crazy superstitions and traditions that happen at the Kauchak household this time of the year.

For starters, I’m a bit of a candle junky, so the first order of business for a playoff game is to light all the candles.  Not just the candles in the room with the TV, but the candles on all the window ledges, and in the kitchen, and in the bathroom.  If one candle gets missed, well this could be horrible bad luck.  And no, the house has not burned down…yet.

My husband makes the whole family and anyone else that happens to be in the house stand at attention for the National Anthem.  Of course we’ve already been instructed to put on our “sweaters” (about the same time I light all the candles).  My poor son could care less about hockey.  I think he might have been switched at birth.  Nevertheless, he knows who makes his meals, so he comes up from his teenage basement land to appease his crazy parents.  As soon as the puck drops and we start getting into the game, he rolls his eyes and sneaks back down to the basement.

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The old man has a specific spot in front of, and to the right of the TV that he has to stand in.  He paces back and forth and makes derogatory comments in his little spot.  The floorboards are worn, and we joke that if he jumps up and down anymore he might go through the floor and end up in teenager land.

Of course everyone has a specific sweater to wear.  Mine is Niklas Hjalmarsson, because Hjalmarsson rarely does anything wrong.  I wear it proudly.  I’ve tried Hossa, Sharp, and Shaw, but then the Hawks lose, so I always seem to gravitate back to Hjalmarsson.  It’s getting pretty snagged.  Maybe I should invest in a new one…oh no wait, that could be bad luck.  It’ll have to wait until next year.

My husband’s sweater of choice is Brent Seabrook.  Seabs always seems to score when the hubby sports his sweater.  Last year, I happened to glance away from the TV long enough to see the hubby wearing a Hossa sweater.  “Oh my gosh, get your (bad word) Seabrook sweater on!”  I screamed.  The poor guy looked down and was mortified by his mistake.   As soon as he pulled Seabrook over his head, good old # 7 scored within the next 30 seconds!  I’m not making this up.

Speaking of Marian Hossa; for some reason Hossa has become bad luck.  No one is allowed to wear Hossa when there is a playoff game going on.  Instead, Hossa now hangs in a spot of honor on the deer antlers that are mounted on the garage by the back deck.  That’s right, Hossa hangs outside through rain and shine and sleet and snow.  We play Hossa ball and shoot hoops through him to pass the time.  Oh, the sacrifices he makes for the good of the team.  Poor Hossa.

I could talk about my unfortunate girlfriend who thinks she’s a jinx, so she stands in the kitchen and peeks around the corner for most of the game.  Or the neighbor kid who always sits in the corner of the L couch but has to leave to watch the third period at his own house.

Did I mention the outdoor glider we had painted in Blackhawks colors?  Oh, and the specially made basement toilet seat that a friend donated to the cause?  But then you would think we were really crazy, so I’ll just leave it alone.

But I know that if you’ve made it this far into this story then you must have some crazy superstitions and traditions of your own.  Please feel free to share!  We are all Chicago Blackhawks fans, so we are lucky to be able to indulge once again.


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